‘Boat Story’ Ending Explained & Series Summary: What Happened To Janet, Samuel, And Patricia?


The BBC’s Boat Story will have you intrigued from the get-go, but the ending was rushed and unimpressive. With a bunch of talented actors and a plot that keeps getting bizarre, this dark comedy is worth the buzz. The BBC mini-series revolves around a middle-aged woman with blue highlights named Janet and a stranger she met at the beach, Samuel. The two were out walking their dogs (a neighbor’s dog in Janet’s case) at the beach when they suddenly came across a boat. While the audience is aware of how the boat ended up in the quaint northern town, our protagonists have no clue. At the sight of the dead bodies found on the boat, Janet exclaimed that they must call the police, but the package hidden in the boat caught Samuel’s attention. A gambling addict with debts to pay, Samuel needed a way out, and the boat full of drugs seemed to be his only solution.

Spoiler Alert

How did Samuel and Janet handle the Tailor’s threat?

Samuel and Janet stored the drugs at a storage unit and contacted a local drug dealer, Vinnie. It was not easy convincing the paranoid drug dealer that they were genuinely interested in doing business with him and that they belonged to an infamous group known for their anonymous approach. Samuel paid off his debt, gambled a little, and bought a grand dinner to celebrate after the deal went smoothly. Janet’s entire world revolved around her foster son, Alan. She had taken care of him when he was just two and loved him unconditionally. After Peter broke up with Janet, he refused to allow her to meet his son. She handed over a bag full of money to Peter and requested that he start the process of legally declaring her as Alan’s guardian. With a bag full of cash, Peter had no reason to object anymore. But things took a turn when the person the shipment belonged to started to investigate the case. 

The shipment was stolen, and he wanted to make an example out of the case. Known as The Tailor, the drug lord arrived at the small town and immediately fell in love with the woman who had informed the police about the boat. Apart from sharing the information that she had already mentioned in her statement to the police, Pat Tooh added that she saw a stranger that morning walking his pomeranian on the beach. The Tailor informed his right-hand man, Guy, to get the job done. It was not too difficult to spot a white pomeranian on the beach. Guy followed Samuel’s wife, Camilla, to their house, and upon entering, he heard Samuel and Janet discuss the next step of their plan. He waited for them at the storage unit and held them at gunpoint to confess where the money was. Upon reaching their storage room, they discovered that someone had broken into and stolen all the cash. 

The surveillance footage showed that Peter had found the location, and Guy confronted him. After seeing the gun peeking through Guy’s jacket, Peter confessed that after receiving a bag of cash from Janet, he wanted to find out what she had gotten herself involved in, but once he realized there were CCTV cameras and the door was padlocked, he decided to walk away. The only other person who could have pulled off the theft was the guy who ran the storage unit, and it turns out Samuel and Janet were right. Guy did not hesitate to shoot him dead. The money was returned to the Tailor, and Samuel and Janet were brought before him. Since they did not get the right value for the product, they were asked to find a way to pay the remaining amount. Guy had never seen his boss offer any of his targets a grace period, but The Tailor was a changed man, and he believed in possibilities now. 

Samuel and Janet had only twenty-four hours to get the money, and they knew it was an impossible task. With the help of Samuel’s fake head, Janet convinced Vinnie that the actual Kosovar organization was after them for falsely using their name. According to her story, the Kosovars had already found out about Vinnie, and they would not spare him as well. She instigated him to fight the Kosovar group instead of running away from them. Vinnie was ready to fight the Kosovars, but that was before he met The Tailor. The old man made it clear that he intended to stay a little longer and that he wanted to do away with the only competitor he had. Vinnie was shot dead, and so were his men. The Tailor and Guy were not done with Janet and Samuel, and they continued to hunt for them. Janet found a gun in the chaos and shot at the Tailor. They somehow managed to convince Guy to be a better person, and they escaped, but as Boat Story progressed, we figured out that was not the last time the four met.

Why did the duo kidnap Patricia?

Janet shot The Tailor, but she was yet to find out whether the drug lord survived or not. She sneaked into the hospital and had a good look at him; the old man was still breathing, which meant it was trouble for them. Meanwhile, Guy headed home after admitting his boss to the hospital. He had always wanted to become a potter like his grandfather, but he never got the time to live his dream. He decided to give pottery a chance, only to realize he was terrible at it. Guy returned, and this time he was merciless. 

Samuel and Janet met at a Chinese restaurant, and he proposed that they kill the old man if they wanted to survive. Janet was initially not on board with the plan, but she soon figured out that the Tailor would take everything away from her if she did not stop him. Guy was back at his job, and he knew that the easiest way to get to Janet was by kidnapping her son, Alan. Janet’s motherly instinct kicked in, and she was ready to rip apart the Tailor if needed to get her son back alive. The only person they knew was important to the Tailor was Pat Tooh. So they decided to kidnap her from her bakery. They were ready to free her if the Tailor agreed to return Alan and hand over two bags full of cash to them. The Tailor had an epiphany when he woke up in the hospital bed. He realized that he had to fulfill the one dream he had with Madame Bethune (Pat Tooh); therefore, he was ready to do anything to have her back.

Who was the Tailor? 

As it turned out at the end of Boat Story, Jules-Baptiste Grimondelle, aka The Tailor, was a peculiar old man who was determined to turn his life into his favorite film. When the Tailor met Pat, he told her about how his identical brother had died in a car accident. He also carried a newspaper clip of the incident in his wallet, and Pat noticed it. She started to doubt him after he was shot in broad daylight. Pat Tooh soon figured out that the newspaper cutting was about a film named Les Enfants. She was intrigued, and when she returned home, she immediately started watching the film. She realized that every detail that the Tailor had shared with her was exactly what was unfolding in the film. Strangely enough, the older woman that the protagonist fancied was named Madame Bethune. The Tailor had been calling her Madame Bethune from the time that they first met, and it all started to make sense to her, or at least some of it. But Pat Tooh could not watch the film till the end because our protagonists, Samuel and Janet, decided to kidnap her. 

To Samuel and Janet’s surprise, the Tailor agrees to all their conditions in exchange for the safe return of Pat Tooh. They agreed to meet at a bridge, and in the little time Pat got to speak to Janet, she disclosed how obsessed the Tailor was with Les Enfants (something that will stick with Janet). The Tailor and Guy stayed true to the deal and handed Alan and two bags full of money to Janet and Samuel. As promised, Janet allowed the Tailor to take Pat along. Even though everything went as planned, Janet could not stop thinking about Pat Tooh. She wondered if she had made a mistake by not helping the poor woman, and she decided to do the right thing. 

Meanwhile, the police were after Samuel and Janet after a policeman was found dead in Janet’s place. The policeman in question was Ben, and he was Pat’s son. He had been trying to solve the case for quite some time in his own way, and he deduced that Samuel and Janet were the main players, but before he could get to Janet, Guy took him out. Pat could sense that Tailor was not in love with her; he was simply obsessed. She confronted him about Les Enfants, but he stated that the film was based on his life and not the other way around. 

The audience found out that the Tailor had been lying about his childhood. When he was a little boy, his father murdered his mother, and he heard her screech and scream. His only comfort was Les Enfants and Madame Bethune. When he met Pat, he could not believe his eyes—he had found the Madame Bethune of his life. He had convinced himself from a young age that he was Benoit from Enfants; he had set up a tailoring shop and lied about it being a family business. He grew up to become a ruthless man like his father, but deep down, he had always been waiting for someone to heal him as Madame Bethune did to Benoit. He believed Pat came into his life to remind him how it was all meant to end.

What happened to Janet, Samuel, and Patricia?

Samuel and Janet went their separate ways once they figured out that the police were after them. While Janet was concerned about Pat’s well-being, Samuel did not care as long as he had enough money to gamble once again. At the end of Boat Story, Samuel headed to the container where he had locked his wife and daughter. They were extremely disappointed in him for repeatedly lying to them, and they headed home without him. Samuel was back at the gambling center by evening, and even though he had lost the trust of his family, he was happy that he could gamble again. Soon after opening the bag left behind by Janet, he discovered that instead of money, she left him Alan’s horn. The police eventually got hold of him, though they could not build a solid case against him, and he was eventually released. In the end, we learn that after Janet figured out that Samuel’s habits had not changed, she decided to take all the money. She later sent his share to his wife and daughter, knowing that he would have misused it otherwise. Samuel later joined Gamblers Anonymous, and he eventually wrote a hypothetical memoir.

Janet watched the ending of Les Enfants, and she realized she was right to doubt the Tailor’s intentions. In the film, Benoit devoured Madame Bethune to be with her forever, and Tailor intended on replicating it. Even though Pat was not in the mood, he got her dressed up and brought her to his boat, where he made an elaborate dinner arrangement. Janet sneakily entered the boat and waited for Pat to be alone to discuss with her the film’s ending. Pat sat down to have dinner with the Tailor, but she refused to touch the food. She confronted him about the ending of Les Enfants, and he was furious. His plan had failed, and Pat was not behaving the way he expected her to. The lights started to go off (thanks to Janet), and the Tailor went into a state of complete lunacy. He got hold of the cleaver and walked up to Pat, but Janet distracted him. He attempted to choke Janet, and Pat picked up the cleaver and struck him twice. The Tailor was left bleeding on the floor of his boat, and that was the end of the ruthless drug lord. 

Patricia was devastated when she learned about her son’s death from Janet. She decided to never try anything too exciting and wild after losing Ben, but apparently, she did meet another interesting man named Carlos, and it seems to be an equally good story. Ben had always hoped to be recognized in his field of work, and after his death, he was awarded the George Cross medal. Guy joined another cartel and was eventually shot to death. The Tailor’s dream of being united forever with Madame Bethune came true after his death. He had bought a plot right beside actor Genevieve Larue, who played Madame Bethune in Les Enfants.

During Boat Story‘s ending, Janet escaped to Cuba with Alan, and she was finally living the happy life she had always dreamed of. After losing her hand in the factory accident, life had been taking a turn for the worse for Janet, and strangely enough, the boat changed the course of her life. Even though she had to overcome a lot more problems than maybe she would have had to otherwise, at least she had Alan by her side to be grateful for everything that had happened.

What Happens In Post Credits Scene?

In Boat Story‘s post-credit scene, we are introduced to the narrator, who goes by the name Elias. He had been narrating the story of Janet and Samuel to his hostage. With an axe in his hand, Elias emphasized how important it was to him to learn from the mistakes made by the protagonists. The alarm in the room goes off, and we soon hear the police siren. Elias comforted his hostage; he was confident about his triumph. With a gun in his hand, he was ready to tackle the police. The post-credit scene seems to be an introduction to the next season. It is possible that Elias and the hostage were in a similar situation, as were Janet and Samuel. But Elias intended to perfect the character of Samuel. Perhaps Samuel and Janet had made an impression on Elias in more than one way, or maybe it truly was just a story that he had heard and taken inspiration from. The details will only become clear in the next season of Boat Story.

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Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni Rudra
Srijoni has worked as a film researcher on a government-sponsored project and is currently employed as a film studies teacher at a private institute. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Film Studies. Film History and feminist reading of cinema are her areas of interest.

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